“Extant” Season 2 returns to CBS on Wednesday, but don’t worry about catching up with Season 1. After lackluster ratings and reviews, the sci-fi drama, starring Halle Berry, wants to start fresh this year.
The writers wanted to make Season 2 a “reboot with a lot of energy, another self-contained story — build on Season 1, but make it in a way that anybody could come to this brand new,” executive producer Mickey Fisher told the Hollywood Reporter. "If you didn’t watch season one, you could drop in, and within a minute you could be watching season two and be up to speed and go along for the rollercoaster ride. I think we've done a great job of that."
Actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan joined the cast this year and didn’t even catch up with the series before stepping on set. “It’s a different show. I’ve got to be honest, I didn’t watch last year,” Morgan explained to Variety. “They told me not to. … They were like here’s the deal, it’s a new show and we want you to think of it like that.”
A reboot means change. Although the futuristic series still revolves around Molly (Berry), an astronaut who recently returned from space, there are quite a few different things that audiences familiar with the show should expect.
1. The New Cop – Morgan, a “Grey’s Anatomy” alum, will join the cast of "Extant" as JD, a cop. It sounds like he’ll be the Scully to Molly’s Mulder. He won’t believe Molly’s stories for a while. “He meets Molly, who is an astronaut and is telling him this story of aliens and robots and all of these sorts of things that are way beyond JD’s level of thinking,” Morgan explained. “It’s going to take awhile for him to believe a word she says.”
2. Possible Romance – Morgan said that the writers wanted a romance in Season 2. “I love her and I think JD has a certain affinity toward her also,” Morgan teased. “We’ve got sparks flying all over the place and we’ll see where that goes.”
3. Human Perspective – JD is there to question what’s happening, hopefully in a way the audience can relate to. “Jeffrey represents, in my opinion, sort of the every viewer watching. He’s the guy on the show that’s trying to figure it out,” Berry said on “The Talk.” “So I think the audience will really relate to what his journey is. Every question he has, they will also have.”
4. Six Months Later – According to showrunner Craig Shapiro, a time jump will be involved, and Molly changed a lot over the last few months. She isn’t even sure if she is in her right mind any more. The “Extant” Season 2 premiere picks up “several months [after the Season 1 finale], and that puts Molly in a completely different head space,” Shapiro told Yahoo. “Her mental stability is potentially in question, and we’re going to find out how that happens.”
5. Ethan Is Gone – Molly’s son Ethan (Pierce Gagnon) was taken away and now lives with Julie (Grace Gummer). While living in her house, Ethan (who is a robot made with articifial intelligence) reveals that he is starting to feel a full range of emotions and seems to grow closer to Julie. “Now I feel like this season I have a lot more of a connection with Ethan,” Gummer explained to the Nerdist. “He confides in me and says ‘I feel pain. I’m hurting.’ And my instinct is to not want him to hurt anymore.”
6. Earth – Molly was an astronaut, so showing her in space made sense last year. However, “Extant” writers decided to keep the show grounded this year. “We move away from that world,” Fisher told TV.com. “We wanted to do that as a way to reset the story and explore new worlds in this season.” Apparently, those new worlds will be located on Earth.
“Extant” premieres on Wednesday at 10 p.m. EDT on CBS. Are you happy that they are rebooting the series? Sound off in the comments section below!